VCN – The Food Safety Department (Ministry of Health) and the General Department of Vietnam Customs has coordinated to handle problems related to the import of Ensure Milk into Vietnam.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) said that recently a company asked for instructions on the import of Ensure Original Nutrition Shake and Ensure Original Nutrition Powder from the Abbott Nutrition Company. However, there are products labeled with “not sold in Vietnam and Mexico” in English.
The firm said that the consignment of the product may be allowed to import if the product meets the requirement of the management policy for imported goods and it is produced and sold legally on the market. The labeling on the product is not a legal basis for Customs to not allow the company to import this product into the country.
However, the GDVC proposes the Ministry of Health provide specific instructions for the import of Ensure milk shipment if it is eligible to be imported into Vietnam.
Recently, the Food Safety Department sent an official dispatch to the GDVC saying that the imported product must go through procedures for self-declaration/registration before being traded on the market as per the provisions of Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP dated February 2, 2018 of the Government.
For the Ensure milk product labeled “Not to be sold in Vietnam or Mexico”, the Food Safety Department said that the department sent Official Dispatch No. 2140/ATTP-SP dated August 28, 2014 to the Quality Assurance and Testing Center 3 (Quatest 3) and the State inspection agencies to not allow the certification of the product. Because the manufacturer clearly stated that it is not sold in Vietnam and Mexico, so it will not be responsible for ensuring the food safety of the product when being traded in Vietnam.
In addition, the Department cites Clause 5, Article 13 of Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP as saying that “test samples whose quantities are suitable for the testing purposes and confirmed by the owners, they will be exempted from state inspection of food safety.”
On August 28, 2014, the Food Safety Department sent Official Dispatch No. 2140/ATTP-SP dated August 28, 2014 to Quatest 3 for the handling of shipments of imported Ensure Original Nutrition Shake. Accordingly, the department worked with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Department of Science and Technology) about the import of Ensure Original Nutrition Shake consignments by some companies, in which the product labels are changed such as “not to be sold in Vietnam and Mexico” or labeled with “original” instead of “complete balanced nutrition”.
The Food Safety Department said that if the Ensure Original Nutrition Shake has been made a declaration of conformity with food safety regulations and granted a valid Certificate of conformity with food safety regulations by a state agency, the product label must comply with the declared label.
The Department said that if the product is labelled with “not to be sold in Vietnam or Mexico” is not allowed to be certified because the manufacturer will not be responsible for ensuring the food safety of the product when traded in Vietnam.
By Ngoc Linh/Ngoc Loan